One of the most important tools available to the spoon collector is a library of related books. The knowledge imparted from such reference material will allow you to find the area of study that most appeals, with the added bonus that the extra knowledge gained will give you the opportunity of finding a bargain, when out buying. It is surprising for such a specialist field how many books are available, and to what degree of speciality they achieve.

To the novice, with no reference material currently available, I would suggest that there are three books which widely cover the subject: "Silver Flatware" by Ian Pickford (for patterns and serving pieces), "English Silver Spoons" by Michael Snodin (for a general overview of early spoons and collectable pieces) and a book for recognising hallmarks. There are several of the latter available, from very inexpensive pocket guides, (such as "English Silver Hallmarks" by Judith Banister or "Jackson's Hallmarks" by Ian Pickford), to the huge compendium compiled by Sir Charles Jackson - the most up to date version is edited by Ian Pickford . The ratings offered in the reviews are purely my own opinion, are marked out of five and are based on how interesting it is to read and how well it covers the subject.

Many of the books reviewed can be purchased directly from us. Alternatively you may wish to try your local second-hand bookseller or library. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Illustrated Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths & Their Marks - a must have book for anybody interested in Scottish silver or indeed any buyer of silver who needs to identify an obscure mark. A comprehensive listing of marks which are illustrated throughout.

Georgian Silver Sugar Tongs  - an excellent book for collectors & dealers alike and especially useful for beginners to the world of sugar tongs. The comprehensive guide to maker's marks will be of general interest to everyone keen on silver  

Eighteenth Century Silver Tea Tongs - a beautiful limited edition (1000 copies) book by Dr David Shlosberg. Buy now as this book on sugar nips (a.k.a tea tongs) will become a collectors item in it's own right and surely increase in value!

We are pleased to recommend the following indispensable titles by Tim Kent, one of the foremost experts in early English spoons. These books are generally difficult to find and can be very expensive if bought second-hand (e.g copies of London Silver Spoon Makers can sell for £50+). 

The following tables shows the books available to the collector. To make it easier to find a suitable book we have separated them in to the following sections:

  • Hallmark Guides:- Books required to identify silver marks
  • Spoon Books:- Specialist books that are wholly or partly concerned with an aspect of spoon collecting
  • England:- Books about specific silver making centres or assay offices in England
  • Scotland:- Covering the subject of silver manufacture in Scotland
  • Ireland:- Covering the subject of silver manufacture in Ireland
  • Makers:- Biographies recounting the lives and works of particular silversmiths
  • Others:- Not fitting any of the above categories, but still of use to the spoon collector

Those books with links have been reviewed:-

Hallmark Guides



Banister, Judith

English Silver Hallmarks

Jackson, Sir Charles

English Goldsmiths and their Marks

Pickford, Ian

Jackson's Silver & Gold Marks

Pickford, Ian

Jackson's Hallmarks


International Hallmarks on Silver


Spoon Books



Belden, G and Snodin, M


Constable, David J.E.

Silver Spoons of Britain 1200 - 1710

Delieb, Eric

Investing in Silver

Emery, J

European Spoons before 1700

Gask, Norman

Old Silver Spoons of England

How, GEP

English & Scottish Silver Spoons and Pre-Elizabethan Hallmarks

Houart, Victor

Antique Spoons: A Collector's Guide

Hodges, Graham

Georgian Silver Sugar Tongs

Norie, John

Caddy Spoons - An Illustrated Guide

Pickford, Ian

Silver Flatware (English, Irish & Scottish 1660-1980)

Rabinovich, BS

Antique Silver Servers for the Dining Table

Rainwater & Felger

Spoons Around The World

Rupert, C G

Apostle Spoons

Shlosberg, Dr. David

Eighteenth century Silver Tea Tongs

Snodin, Michael

English Silver Spoons





Culme, J D

The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths 1838 - 1914 (2 volumes)

Fallon, John P.

Marks of London Goldsmiths & Silversmiths1697-1837

Fallon, John P.

Marks of London Goldsmiths & Silversmiths1837-1914

Gill, MAV

A Directory of Newcastle Goldsmiths

Grimwade, A G

London Goldsmiths, 1697-1837 

Gubbins, M

York Assay Office & Silversmiths

Harrison, Miles

Exeter & West Country Silver 

Hartop, Christopher

East Anglia Silver 1550-1750

Jones, Kenneth Crisp

The Silversmiths of Birmingham and their Marks 1750-1980

Kent, Timothy A

London Silver Spoon Makers 1500-1697

Kent, Timothy Arthur

Barnstaple Silver and Its Makers

Kent, Timothy Arthur

Salisbury Silver & Its Makers 1550-1700

Kent, Timothy Arthur

Sussex Silver & Its Makers

Kent, Timothy Arthur

West Country Silver Spoons and Their Makers, 1550-1750

Mayne, RH

Old Channel Islands Silver, It's Makers & Marks

Murray, H

A Directory of York Goldsmiths

Ridgway, M H & Priestley P T

The Compendium of Chester Gold & Silver Marks 1570 - 1962

Ridgway, Maurice

Chester Goldsmiths from Early times to 1726

Ridgway, Maurice H.

Chester Silver 1727 - 1837

Ridgway, Maurice H.

Chester Silver 1837 - 1962

Sheffield Assay Office

The Sheffield Assay Office Register 1911



Author Title

Dietert, Rodney & Janice

The Edinburgh Goldsmiths I: Training, Marks, Output and Demographics 

Dietert, Rodney & Janice

Compendium of Scottish Silver II

Dobie, Kirkpatrick

Dumfries Silversmiths

Finlay, Ian

Scottish Gold & Silver Work

James, I E

The Goldsmiths of Aberdeen

Moss, G P

Provincial Silversmiths Of Moray & Their Marks

Moss, G.P. & Roe, A.P.

Highland Gold & Silversmiths

Moss, GP & Roe, AD

Highland Goldsmiths & Silversmiths

Quick, Estelle

A Ballance of Silver - The Story of the Silversmiths of Tain

Turner, Richard W.

Illustrated Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths & Their Marks





Bennett, Douglas

Irish Georgian Silver

Bennett, Douglas

Collecting Irish Silver

Bowen, John R & O'Brien, Conor

A Celebration of Limerick's Silver

Bowen, John R & O'Brien, Conor

Cork Silver & Gold: Four Centuries of Craftsmanship

Jackson, R W

Irish Silver


Silversmith Biographies



Glanville, P & Goldsborough, JF

Women Silversmiths 1685-1845

Penzer, NM

Paul Storr

Phillips, PAS

Paul De Lamerie, His Life & Work

Shure, David S

Hester Bateman

N.B. Biographies of silversmiths can also be found within books on specific silver making centres/assay offices - e.g. the books by Grimwade, Fallon & Culme under the "England" section.

Other Useful Books




Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain & Ireland